Instructables

Prepare and use fresh herbs

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     I love to grow, prepare and use fresh herbs every day. Herbs are easy to grow from seed, indoors and out and they are thankfully mostly disease and pest resistant. There are many health benefits associated with the use of herbs.  Herbs also make foods and drinks more enjoyable when prepared and used correctly.
   
     I will show you how to clean and prepare several herbs which I currently have growing in my garden. I hope you enjoy.
 
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Step 1: Common easy to grow herbs

The herbs I will show you how to prepare our common, easy to grow & flavorful.
Mint
Lavender
Fennel
Parsley
Dill
Oregano
Chives
Rosemary
The preparation for many other herbs are similar to the above herbs.  Once you are able to prepare these herbs try others!

Step 2: Wash the herbs

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Wash the herbs with cool water, in a colander. Wash them gently looking for dirt, debris and garden critters. Pick off any garden critters and replace the beneficial ones (such as ladybugs and worms) back in the garden.

Step 3: Pat the herbs dry

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Gently pat the herbs dry, be sure not to bruise or break the herbs setting will maintain their natural beauty and delicious flavor.

Step 4: Cut the herbs off their stems

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Cut the herbs off their stems, leaving the large tough leaves at the base. For the chives pull away the outer two leaves.

Step 5: Cut the herbs with clean kitchen shears

I use clean kitchen shears to cut most of my herbs. This is a quick and efficient way to cut large amounts of herbs.

Step 6: Lavender and mint

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The Lavender is a wonderful and unique herb. My favorite way to prepare this is to grind the Lavender with white sugar in my coffee grinder. The Lavender sugar can be used in coffee, on top of cookies or muffins.

Mint can be crushed with a mortar and  pestle to release the natural oils for drinks like mojitos and mint julips.

I hope that these instructions will allow you to use more herbs in your everyday cooking and baking!
PDXHICKS1 year ago
I garden in a small space too and have gone to no lawn in our front yard and larger containers. It's amazing how little space you really need to grow herbs.

By the way, those are interesting looking chives...they look more like scallions (the tops of onions). I've never seen them that hefty at the base. Do you know what type they are or are they just a very old clump? I've grown several varieties of "chives" and have decided that Allium schoenoprasum 'Foresgate' chives is my favorite hands down. Prettier flowers that are brighter and more pink in color than common chives which are a rather plain lavender. Garlic chives are another type to try, garlicy flavor and pretty white flowers held in an umbrella form that make good cut flowers...and are edible too. Really good in soups. Not as hardy as standard chives.

I'll add an important note here about harvesting as harvesting times is very important for some herbs as it can effect the flavor. Oregano needs to be harvested prior to flowering when essential oil content is highest as it reduces greatly after flowering and can almost end up grassy tasting. The same for Marjoram which is a form of Oregano.

Lavender is best harvested while most of the flower stem is still in bud form (harvest when top flowers begin to open). That way you avoid having the flowers turn brown (not so pretty) and will only see those beautiful calyx which is what people think of when they think of lavender. Oh and I love the sugar ideas and great idea using the coffee grinder to incorporate the herbs. A food processor would work too if people don't have a coffee grinder handy. Folks that grind their own beans might want to have a coffee grinder dedicated to just processing herbs to avoid cross contamination of flavors.

I harvest sage, rosemary and bay from the garden year round here in the Pacific NW and find there is no flavor difference from one season to the next.

Thanks again for the great tips.
sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks for sharing! This information was helpful! Have a super day!
sunshiine
ChapDad2 years ago
I love herbs, but unfortunately we don't have so much space to grow all the ones you have here. Our rosemary bush does get pillaged every time I make a lasagne, though!
iamaqtpoo (author)  ChapDad2 years ago
PS....I forgot to tell you I live on a little less than 1/4 acre so....I don't have a lot of space either :)
iamaqtpoo (author)  ChapDad2 years ago
I promise herbs are the easiest and most forgiving of all seeds/plants! If you start them in egg shells & soil they transplant well. It is worth a try even if you just have large lovely planters full.
Congrats on ur ible! You really did a great job!
iamaqtpoo (author)  barefootbohemian2 years ago
Thank you so much that is very nice of you. Perhaps you noticed that I spelled parsley wrong???? It did crack me up when I realized, oh well 
Ha ha I saw one was spelled with an e, so had to look again. I started to think maybe is was some regional dialectal spelling or something :))
iamaqtpoo (author)  barefootbohemian2 years ago
Thanks, you just know how to make people smile :)
Thanks. I have a feeling you are really good at that too :)